What’s that?! WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram were down globally for hours recently, impacting its 3.5 billion users including many small business owners that rely on these social media platforms for running their business.
For business owners this likely caused panic and frustration.
Although Facebook’s services have since been restored and there is once again peace in the digital world, it’s important to have a plan in place for if (or more likely when) another outage happens.
From good old-fashioned emails to public relations (PR) and search engine optimisation (SEO), the team at Pitch has compiled our list of the other effective marketing strategies we use to gain exposure for our clients, without relying solely on social media.
Tip 1 – Stay calm
The very first and most important thing to do when Facebook and Instagram are not working is to NOT PANIC. Although easier said than done, particularly for small businesses and eCommerce that rely on social media to drive sales, it’s best to take a moment to assess the situation and form a plan. More likely than not, services will be restored sooner rather than later so sit tight.
Tip 2 – Be prepared
Our second tips is to engage an agency to handle your social media. The team at Pitch Public Relations are experts in social media management and, with our background in fast-paced newsrooms, we know how to handle crisis situations both big and small. As our team also monitors your social pages 24/7, we will always be the first to know when something goes wrong and have the expertise and skills to react and solve any issues that may arise.
Tip 3 – Be smart
Our third tip is to utilise other platforms. Much like Twitter and other global businesses did during the outage, if it aligns with your brand why not make light of the situation and use this time to engage with your audience on another platform such as Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn.
Alternative platforms and media types
Aside from other social media platforms, web-based platforms like email and your own website are critical for communicating during Facebook and Instagram outages and all other times.
It is important to utilise ‘owned’ media, such as your website, email database and blog. Utilising owned media is the most effective way to ensure you have complete control of your marketing and communication efforts.
Other alternatives to social media are ‘paid’ and ‘earned’ media. Earned media includes traditional media coverage gained through PR, while paid media includes Google ads. Both earned and paid media help communicate and keep your business ticking along without reliance on social media.
Due to the unpredictability of outages, it is important that you take a holistic, integrated approach to communications that encompasses owned, paid and earned media. That’s where the team at Pitch comes in!
Utilise your database
Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) marketing should be included in your strategy, not just as a backup during a social media outage but as a regular way of communicating with customers. Email is a low-cost marketing tool and growing your email database will ensure you have a direct line of communication with your current and potential customers.
Pitch is experienced at developing effective EDM content and can help futureproof your business against the next social media outage with direct marketing methods such as email.
Just keep blogging
Uploading regular blog content that is both evergreen and newsworthy not only keeps your customers engaged but when optimised for search (SEO) it also drives new traffic to your website. By incorporating key search terms that your customers are using you can capture organic, highly relevant traffic from search engines and add value to those in need of your products and/or services.
SEO is all about taking people’s search terms and incorporating these within your content and metadata to add value. If your customers are searching for “How to clean my oven”, and your business offers DIY home cleaning solutions, a good blog topic might be “DIY your home oven clean with these simple steps”. Not only does this topic provide a solution to their need, but it adds value and will position your brand as a trustworthy source of information.
At Pitch, we partner with leading digital marketing and SEO specialists to produce engaging blog content that targets your current and future customers.
If you’re ready to take control of your marketing, get in touch with the team at Pitch today.